Recent research from Bazaarvoice shows that the line between online and offline shopping continues to blur. Based on a survey of more than 6,000 shoppers around the world and more than 400 retailers, the company shared the following key takeaways:
• Most consumers seek out multiple touchpoints when making a purchase decision.
• Shoppers are influencing other shoppers through user-generated content (UGC) at all stages in the purchase journey, with social media playing an increasingly impor-tant role in discovery, research and conversion.
• Two-thirds of consumers prefer omnichannel shopping. Sixty-six percent of shoppers said they feel happiest with a hybrid of both in-store and online shopping, while 25% said in-store and 8% said online.
• A generational gap in behavior exists. Most consumers ages 25-34 enjoy a hybrid of shopping methods (75%), and just over half (56%) of those ages 65 and older prefer a mix of both in-store and online.
• Almost two-thirds of shoppers use their smartphone in-store to look at price comparisons (69%), product reviews (60%), advice from friends/family (33%) and product demonstrations (30%).
• Shopper voices and verified reviews power commerce. UGC makes up seven of the top 10 types of research shoppers prefer to utilize before buying (e.g., product ratings, written reviews from verified buyers, expert reviews, questions and answers, recommendations from friends/family, shopper photos of the product and visual reviews from verified buyers).
• Online research is universal. Both online (79%) and in-store (59%) shoppers conduct research online prior to purchasing.
• Social media increasingly influences shoppers. One in five consumers shop on social media, including via Facebook Shops (41%), influencers’ Instagram Stories (37%) and sponsored ads on Instagram (36%).